My thought on the Devaraja and the modern political system in CANCAMBODIA

Posted by: | Posted on: August 16, 2012

Hence, the collapse of Khmer empire is likely caused by the failure of this political system. The Devaraja that was claimed as King must be full of Dhamma (or Dharma) has become a Devaraja that leader can own everything as his private property (and in modern political system, the controlling or instructing a powerful leader not to own everything in accordance to his greed is absolutely impossible, so the creation of the rule of laws or principle is credibly vigilant to this natural greed). It has possibly become a centric political leadership which is consist of egoism and conceit.

Dear Lok Krou Sotheara et al;

Actually, the story of King Jayavarman II is likely narrated in a legendary event. As his father was a captive of King of Java, King Jayavarman II sneaked from Java to claim his monarchic line back in Cambodia. As I followed this event written by Gorge Cede, the event is likely a legend, not a fact. If Lok Krou happened to see some first hand source in the inscription mentioned about this event, I am grateful in your sharing.

However, the timeline of Khmer Empire seems splendidly emerge from this 802 episode of King Jayavarman II.     King Jayavarman II embarked a great march (may be similar to that of Mao in China) to rally support his kingship before the anointment at Mahendravarta. The story said by inviting a special Brahma from India to conduct this ceremony significantly gave a bloodline to the next great kings of Khmer Empire to having formal rituals performed by their own ministers (Khmer Brahmas). All ancient Khmer kings conformed the advises of Brahmas. And this cult consider a great success of political leadership in ancient time.

So the consecration of King Jayavarman II in that time might not be a creation of god-king or Devaraja of the king himself, it possibly constructed a political system of “Ancient Khmer Republic”. Stories tell in Buddhist scripture, ancient republic system of ancient India refers to king rules but supervised by Brahmas or the wises. And it has become Buddha’s republic for the Sangha that Buddha himself is just a particle of the larger Sangha (although he is a Buddha). All decision-making and disciplines inscribed in the scripture was made and agreed by the Sangha. Sangha in according to Vinaya must comprise of 4 Bhikkhus and up.

The Devaraja consecration on the top of Mehandravarta was not only a declaration of independence and sovereignty of Khmer Empire from Java (according to the legend), but it had erected an administration superseded the sustainable progress of this empire lasting 300 years.

Hence, the collapse of Khmer empire is likely caused by the failure of this political system. The Devaraja that was claimed as King must be full of Dhamma (or Dharma) has become a Devaraja that leader can own everything as his private property (and in modern political system, the controlling or instructing a powerful leader not to own everything in accordance to his greed is absolutely impossible, so the creation of the rule of laws or principle is credibly vigilant to this natural greed). It has possibly become a centric political leadership which is consist of egoism and conceit. Once, the Buddha addressed that in this world there are more numbers of uneducated people but don’t support them to come to the throne. In Sakya clan, the king can claim it’s legitimacy only through the ministers or the wise members of this kingdom. When the Sakya became a vessel state of  Kosala Kingdom of Pasenadi, those ministers see that in order to maintain Sakya clan, Siddhartha must become a Buddha. Now, this internal political settlement has become reality in this 2555 years old.

Power is a double-edged sword. For King Jayavarman II, power gave him the opportunity to free his kingdom and bring advancement to his motherland. Power falls into the hand of the uneducated will result in disaster. Power falls into the hand of the educated will result in a survival. Khmer people and few entities of educated group define power in the negative way which possibly leads to the culture of endless fear.

Peace,
Sophoan